Argentina on the brink and data on U.S. growth — five things to know about today
Hello, friends and Fortune readers.
The onslaught of second-quarter earning reports continues today. Keep your eye out for results from Nintendo, Yelp, Bayer, Revlon, Sodastream and many, many others. Everyone’s hoping for a Twitter-like earnings crush — the micro-blogging site’s shares are up 25% this morning before the opening bell after the company reported strong new user growth. Here’s what else you need to know today.
1. Argentina’s on the brink … again.
Argentina is in a race against time to avoid default for a second time in 12 years. The country either needs to cut a deal by the end of today with “holdout” investors who are suing it, or push for more time in a U.S. court settlement. Argentina’s economy minister Axel Kicill is in New York City to meet with hedge fund representatives who are demanding $1.33 billion in repayments for bonds they purchased at discounted rates after the country defaulted in 2002.
2. On the home front, the U.S. economy is humming.
U.S. gross domestic product, a measure of the economy’s output, grew at a 4% rate in the second quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said Wednesday. Economists, on average, had expected a 3.1% reading over the most recent three months, according to Bloomberg data. The gain is a big bounce back from the first-quarter when GDP dropped a revised 2.1%.
3. The Fed concludes its policy meeting.
The Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee will announce the results of its two-day meeting this afternoon at 2 p.m. ET. Economists expect the Fed will maintain interest rates at current low levels to further support employment gains. They also expect Fed policy-makers to slash another $10 billion off the central bank’s monthly asset purchases, which are part of the Fed’s quantitative easing program.
4. Microsoft under investigation in China.
Chinese regulators are probing the tech giant and its Windows operating system for possible violations of anti-monopoly laws. Microsoft (MSFT), which struggled to make headway in the country due to unchecked piracy, is accused of not fully disclosing information about its Windows platform and Office software programs. Investigators raided local offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu Monday.
5. Hillary Clinton agrees: the Redskins need a new name.
Hillary Clinton called the Washington football team’s name “insensitive” in an interview on Tuesday. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled six federal trademarks of the team’s name last month because of its offensive nature. “I would love to see the owners think hard about what they could substitute,” Clinton said. The former secretary of state need look no further, as Fortune’s Andy Serwer is already on the case.